“By uploading digital content there, we make it readily available for Wikipedia editors to embed in Wikipedia articles, making them far more visible than they are in our own catalog,” said Dominic McDevitt-Parks, digital content specialist and Wikipedian in Residence at NARA.
They intend to make thousands of more images available in the near future. You can read more about their collaboration here.
I am very pleased to present a post and resource links on Creative Commons by my colleague Jason Baird Jackson. More and more cultural heritage professionals and students are faced with questions about how to best present original documents for public access and the proper citation and use of internet files. Jason provides a solid introduction and valuable links to Creative Commons licenses that are relevant today and will be increasingly important in the immediate future.
Creative Commons and Cultural Heritage
by Jason Baird Jackson
Do public archaeologists, heritage professionals, museum practitioners, and graduate students need to know about the Creative Commons? I think so. Robert Connolly does so as well, which is why he thought to ask me to contribute a short note to his blog. After you have learned a bit about it, I hope that you too will see the relevance of the tools provided by the…
Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr
Khan Academy is popular in math for its brief lectures and interactive modules. However, you can also use it in the Social Studies. Check out Smarthistory, a free multimedia platform for student and teacher of history, archaeology, museum curation, and art history.
I consider myself a fan of museums. Maybe more than a fan. There’s not much that can beat a good museum. I can easily spend hours browsing displays, talking with docents, and learning tons.
And there aren’t many museums that can get the better of me. The Smithsonian. National Air and Space. World War One Museum. But there’s only one Field Museum. It’s huge – some 24 million objects. I’ve never made it through the entire thing. But still so cool.
So when I found out that the Field Museum is posting some of its photos online, I was pumped. The hundreds of photos are perfect for geography and cultural geography teachers.
I especially like those from the 1893 World’s Fair. But you can find historical images from a wide variety of places and times.
Antikythera Mechanism fragment courtesy of Wikimedia
The famous Roman shipwreck at Antikythera may in fact be the resting place of two wrecked vessels. The underwater site was discovered in the early 1900s and became quickly famous when nautical archaeologists discovered a device they termed the Antikythera Mechanism, a sophisticated device used to calculate astronomical positions.
The breadth of the wreck and vast array of artifacts have led researchers to question whether or not there are actually two ships at the site rather than the assumed one.
The site’s preservation is due to its remote and deep location, which protects it from curious scuba divers and would be looters. However, the attention that has been showered on the site has encouraged documentary film makers and reporters to be more… creative in how they have presented the finds and the site itself. As such, researchers are planning to return to the site to better explore it.
“Because the site has been so intruded upon for more than a century it gets really hard to disambiguate what’s myth and what’s fact,” – Brendan Foley
To learn more about the excavation and proposed return to the Antikythera wreck, see the article at Discovery News.
The Buddha’s before and after their destruction (courtesy of Wikipedia).
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were monumental sculptures that stood in Afghanistan for 1,500 years. In March of 2001, the Taliban of Afghanistan succeeded in their efforts to destroy the statues in spite of wide spread protest. The Taliban government used the Islamic ban on images as justification for the extirpation of the monuments. The Times quoted Mullah Mohammed Omar as stating, “Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to God that we have destroyed them.”
Since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2003, archaeologists and art historians have surveyed the rubble of the Buddha’s to determine whether or not they could be repaired or reconstructed. The overall consensus was that the damage was too thorough and pervasive to allow effective reconstruction. However, a small group – most notably the German International Council on Monuments and Sites – have continued to argue and push for the statues to be rebuilt.
The decision remains controversial and likely will be debated for decades. To read more about the debate, see the article at BBC News.